Chase ends in gunfire in Green Swamp

Jeffrey Kelly Jr.
Jeffrey Kelly Jr.

Updated 10.01.20 at 2:27 p.m.

Gunfire – but no injuries – ended a chase Wednesday that involved two stolen vehicles and a manhunt through the Green Swamp.

Jeffery Kelly Jr. is being held under no bond, charged with a Florida fugitive warrant for assault, battery with a deadly weapon and motor vehicle theft. His charges are still being assessed here. He is held under no bond.

A second suspect, whose name has not been released, was apprehended after Kelly wrecked the first stolen vehicle. That suspect and a third individual who was present have not been charged in the chase or wreck.

Kelly allegedly stole a Chevrolet Avalanche in Delco around 3 p.m. Wednesday, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputies were able to track the vehicle using a GPS system, and Lake Waccamaw Police with deputies intercepted the stolen truck in Bolton.

Kelly then led officers on a high speed chase into the Green Swamp, where he wrecked the Chevrolet. Kelly fled on foot into the swamp.

The suspect was allegedly armed after at stealing firearms during a break-in earlier in the day. The sheriff’s office reported that Kelly was alleged to be in possession of a hand gun and a long arm, but no firearms are mentioned in the report.

Kelly then took a Ford F250 utility truck from a nearby logging crew, and led officers on another chase further into the swamp, heading toward Crusoe. Deputies got ahead of the chase, the sheriff’s office report said, and set up roadblocks on secondary roads throughout the area.

Along one of the roads, detectives observed the work truck heading toward them, and attempted to flag the vehicle down. Kelly then allegedly aimed the truck at the officers and accelerated. The detectives opened fire, striking the truck but Kelly was not hit by gunfire from the sheriff’s office personnel. He drove the truck into a nearby canal and attempted to yet again flee, but was apprehended.

Kelly was treated at Columbus Regional for minor injuries sustained in the wreck, then released into custody of the sheriff’s office.

Sheriff Jody Greene praised the fast thinking of his staff, and thanked the Lake Waccamaw Police and State Park Rangers for assisting in the pursuit and capture.

About Jefferson Weaver 1973 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].